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Friday, 27 November 2020

Outside the Spotlight: Exploring Southwark with Alex Tranter | Captured by Liz

Outside the Spotlight is brought to you by Captured by Liz in partnership with Pocket Size Theatre, this series of articles is sponsored by Pointe & Flex, a stylish and motivational stationery brand created for dancers, dance teachers and everything in between! From diaries to notebooks, pens to pencils, planners to action lists, Pointe & Flex are here to make sure you stay on top of everything so you can thrive in your industry. Click here to find out more.

It’s a chilly but sunny October day in London. Alex, who was living his best life on stage at &Juliet every night before theatres went dark, takes another sip of his coffee, overlooking the River Thames. We’re just outside the National Theatre, around the corner from the Globe, surrounded by iconic buildings of the city, as he reflects on the memories associated with the South Bank and the area. “It’s my go to place. I just love it here”, he says are we’re strolling along the Thames. 

Alex trained at Italia Conti in London, just a stone throw away. They’d all spent quite some time across the river after long days of classes. “We always felt so fancy just going to the pub here by the river” he laughs. And still today, the area is his go to for a chilled beverage or a meal with his mates. It’s nice to know, some things never change.


Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Casting announced for MEMPHIS THE MUSICAL

Casting was announced today for the West End production of hit Broadway musical MEMPHIS, which will have preview performances at the Shaftesbury Theatre, London from 9 October 2014 with Opening Night on 23 October 2014. Winner of four 2010 Tony Awards® including Best Musical, MEMPHIS has a Grammy® Award-winning original score by Bon Jovi founding member David Bryan and book by Joe DiPietro.

Led by multi award-winning recording artist Beverley Knight as club singer ‘Felicia Farrell’ and stage star Killian Donnelly as radio DJ ‘Huey Calhoun’, with Rolan Bell as ‘Delray’, Tyrone Huntley as ‘Gator’, Claire Machin as ‘Gladys’, Jason Pennycooke as ‘Bobby’ and Mark Roper as ‘Mr. Simmons’, the full cast of MEMPHIS will include Keisha Atwell, Arielle Campbell, Mark Carroll, Joseph Davenport, Momar Diagne, Carly Mercedes Dyer, Kimmy Edwards, Hillary Elk, Laura Ellis, Charlotte Gorton, Benjamin Harrold, Waylon Jacobs, Rachel John, Dean Maynard, Devon McKenzie-Smith, Tim Newman, Simon Ray-Harvey, Jon Robyns, Ashley Rumble, Kyle Seeley, Helen Siveter, Dawnita Smith, and Alex Thomas.


Sunday, 1 June 2014

10 shows that closed too soon...

The 2006 Broadway revival production of A Chorus Line was brought over to London's West End in February 2013 and it had previously been announced that the show would only play a limited run at the London Palladium. After receiving numerous 4 ad 5 star reviews and being named 'Timless and Thrilling' by the Dail Mail the show closed the following August after previously booking until January 2014. The show takes a behind-the-scenes look at 17 hopefuls auditioning for just eight places in a new Broadway musical, it has a book by James Kirkwood and Nicholas Date, with music by Marvin Hamlisch and lyrics by Edward Kleban. The production will reportedly embark on a European tour before returning to the UK for a tour "beginning in autumn 2014".

Cameron Mackintosh's first original musical in over a decade was Betty Blue Eyes, opening at the Novello Theatre in April 2011 but closed the following September. The show is set in a Yorkshire village after the Second World War, where rationing presents a challenge for the locals who want to celebrate the Queen's Royal wedding to Prince Philip in style. Looking to slaughter an illegally raised pig (a blue-eyed creature named Betty) for the event, chaos ensues when the sow is stolen and a food inspector arrives, determined to stop such activities. The musical features a book by Ron Cowen and Daniel Lipman with music and lyrics by  George Stile and Anthony Drewe. The show is currently touring the UK. 


Tuesday, 13 May 2014

FIRST LOOK: The Pajama Game at the Shaftesbury Theatre

Richard Eyre’s sensational production of the Broadway classic The Pajama Game has transferred to the West End, it will open at the Shaftesbury Theatre on 13th May 2014 (previews from 1st May) for a limited season until 13th September 2014 following a critically acclaimed, sold out run at Chichester Festival Theatre, starring Olivier Award-winning Joanna Riding and Michael Xavier, and featuring Peter Polycarpou until 31 May and Gary Wilmot from 2 June.

The cast also features: Alexis Owen Hobbs (Gladys), Claire Machin (Mabel), Colin Stinton (Hasler/Pop), Eugene McCoy (Prez), SiĆ“n Lloyd (Max), Jennie Dale (Mae), Sharon Wattis (Poopsie), Keisha Amponsa Banson (Brenda), Lauren Varnham (Charlene), Helen Ternent (Martha), Jo Morris (Rita), Nolan Frederick (Charley), Richard Jones (Frank), Dan Burton (Earl) and James O’Connell (Joe)

Sunday, 16 March 2014

MEMPHIS to open at the Shaftesbury Theatre, starring Beverley Knight

The producers of hit Broadway musical MEMPHIS are delighted to officially announce that multi award-winning recording artist Beverley Knight will star as club singer ‘Felicia’ when the show comes to London’s West End this autumn. MEMPHIS, winner of four 2010 Tony Awards® including Best Musical has Grammy® Award-winning original score by Bon Jovi founding member David Bryan and book by Joe DiPietro.

Tickets go on-sale today, Thursday 13 March 2014, for MEMPHIS which will have preview performances at the Shaftesbury Theatre, London from 9 October 2014 and Opening Night on 23 October 2014.

Thursday, 28 November 2013

From Here To Eternity - Theatrical Trailer

From Here to Eternity opened in London's West End on the 23rd October, starting previews on 30th September. The show stars Darius Campbell as Warden, Robert Lonsdale as Private Prewitt, Rebecca Thornhill as Karen, Ryan Sampson as Maggio and Siubhan Harrison as Lorene. Tamara Harvey directs with a book by Bill Oakes and a score by Stuart Brayson and Tim Rice. Javier De Frutos choreographs the show along with lighting design by Bruno Poet and set and costume design by Soutra Gilmour. 


Tuesday, 22 October 2013

From Here To Eternity: Theatre Review

Based on the 1951 novel and 1953 film of the same name, From Here To Eternity is the new musical from Tim Rice and it makes its world premiere at the Shaftesbury Theatre in London’s West End. The original film won 8 Academy Awards and starred Frank Sinatra, Donna Reed, Montgomery Cliff and Deborah Kerr. The story is really beautiful, emotional and powerful. 
However simple Tamara Harvey’s direction of the show is she has presented a very clear and precise version of the story. Many themes lie within the story, one of them being Homosexuality. This is quite a large part of the story and the theme is very interesting (especially when involving the army in 1941) but I didn’t feel like it was used enough. It was almost skimmed over very quickly and felt a little random when in fact it actually has a very large impact in the show. I would have liked for them to have taken this theme further and go deeper with it because it definitely had the potential to be a really interesting part of the production. 

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Burn The Floor: Theatre Review

Burn the Floor was originally conceived after a special performance for Elton John’s 50th Birthday in 1997 and two years later the show made its world premiere in the UK in Bournemouth. Since then it has played in over 300 cities. The show played the Shaftesbury Theatre in 2010 between the closing of Hairspray and the opening of Flashdance and has now returned thirteen years after it originally opened in the UK to fill the theatre before ‘From Here to Eternity’ opens in October. 
The show is made up of a selection of all different dances, from Rumba to Jive and The Waltz to the Tango. This sassy production provides a range of beautifully executed dances that will make you want to join them up there. The energy that was oozing off that stage was tremendous. Although the show doesn’t have any sort of narrative as a whole it still is a fabulous showcase of the astounding dancing skills that were on that stage. 

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Rock of Ages the Musical: Theatre Review


Rock of Ages first premiered in Los Angeles in 2006 with later productions taking place in Melbourne, Broadway, Off-Broadway and a film coming out in 2012. Rock of Ages started previews in London on 31stAugust with an opening night on 27thSeptember.The story is exactly what you would expect from an 80's musical, Boy with big dreams meets girl with big dreams, they fall in love, boy ruins the relationship, girl turns to stripping, boy regrets this, boy meets girl again, boy and girl get together and everyone lives happily ever after.
Ok, so the show is a lot better than I'm making it sound! The thing i really liked about this show is that it makes fun of itself; they pull out a programme for the show in the second act and occasionally break the fourth wall. From the audiences point of view it was fantastic, it's such a refreshing break from conventional musical theatre.
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